Attentional Biases for Negative Interpersonal Stimuli in Clinical Depression

Ian H. Gotlib, Elena Krasnoperova, Dana Neubauer Yue, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

599 Scopus citations


An information-processing paradigm was used to examine attentional biases in clinically depressed participants, participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and nonpsychiatric control participants for faces expressing sadness, anger, and happiness. Faces were presented for 1,000 ms, at which point depressed participants had directed their attention selectively to depression-relevant (i.e., sad) faces. This attentional bias was specific to the emotion of sadness; the depressed participants did not exhibit attentional biases to the angry or happy faces. This bias was also specific to depression; at 1,000 ms, participants with GAD were not attending selectively to sad, happy, or anxiety-relevant (i.e., angry) faces. Implications of these findings for both the cognitive and the interpersonal functioning of depressed individuals are discussed and directions for future research are advanced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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